How to Get Your Classes

(this happened May 1st)

Today’s fantastic scholastic journey:

I’m trying to finish up my prereqs by taking a Human Physiology class this summer. Maybe at Merritt College, maybe College of Alameda. Both schools are part of the Peralta College System. I need to prove to them that I have passed the prereq for the class, a chemistry course, and talk to a counselor to verify I’m all set.

I spent 70 min on trains and buses getting to Merritt College. The Admissions Department lady immediately told me I had the wrong paperwork and I needed to hand deliver to her a letter from my chemistry professor, on CCSF letterhead, a note saying that I was going to pass his class. Phoey. I tried but wasn’t able to speak to a counselor because they were all booked up til closing (4:30pm) despite me getting there at 2:30pm.

Then I went to College of Alameda. The counselor saw me in 45 minutes. She immediately accepted my mid-term grade printout as proof of prerequisite completion. And she pushed all the magic buttons on the computer that let me attend school there. We chatted about some awesome school-type stuff and I was on my way.

Mission accomplished in just under 8 hours.

Moral of the story:
The Admissions Department’s job is to say “No, you don’t have the right paperwork.”
The Counselor’s job is to say, “Let’s get this done.”


  1. Michael says:

    I’ve been dealing with Peralta for several years now and they have some serious quirks in the system.

    Be forewarned that even though they act like Peralta is a single school, the counselors and admissions offices can only influence things in their own school. This get worse when you realize that some degrees are campus specific. Counselors will refuse to help with a degree requirement from another school, even though all of your records are universal.

    I couldn’t even submit my Intent to Graduate form at Alameda for a Laney degree, even though I only have classes in Alameda this semester.

    You can make appointments for counselor visits over the phone or online though. You will save an incredible amount of time if you get an appointment first, even for things that should take 30 seconds of face time.

  2. lee says:

    Hmm! Very good to know! Thanks.

    >You can make appointments for counselor visits over the phone or online
    How does that work? Alameda Counseling voicemail was very clear about only doing dropins. Maybe that’s just for the summer?

  3. Michael says:

    Hmm, if that’s the case they’ve changed it in the past 2 months. Drop-in has been a serious crap shoot for me. None of the counselors seem to stay past 3:00 pm.

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